If you are ever traveling through Turkey and think, “I wonder if there is a place where Cleopatra lived? And, for that matter, where Saul of Tarsus (later Paul the Apostle) was born?” then we have the place for you!
Tarsus is a historic city in south-central Turkey, 20 km inland from the Mediterranean Sea. It is part of the Adana-Mersin metropolitan area, the fourth-largest metropolitan area in Turkey with a population of 3 million people.
But we have only a few hours to spend here, so we are visiting the fabulous Berdan river.https://www.awatravels.com/wp-content/uploads/Blogs/2021/08/15-Tarsus/Tarsus/Tarsus02-scaled.jpg
The Berdan river, also called the Tarsus river, is home to the Tarsus waterfall. At least, that’s what the internet tells us. Actually, there are many small waterfalls on the Berdan river as it flows through Tarsus.
The river is remarkably clear, which is not surprising given that it is only 124 kilometers long; not much time to pollute such a short length of water.
Although the Berdan river has four dams, there is still plenty of water and the natural geology of Tarsus provides many small waterfalls and deep pools.
According to the internet, “The Berdan River flows in one of the warmest regions of Turkey, but its upper reaches in the Toros Mountains make the water much cooler than the surrounding streams. History has two very well known accounts of health problems caused by swimming in the river. In 333 BC Alexander III of Macedon and in 833 AD Caliph Abu al-Abbas Abdallah ibn Harun al-Rashid both swam in the river and both fell ill.” The brutal history of this river does not seem to impress these young men.
We quickly discover that the Bardan river, as it run through Tarsus, is a magnet for young men who desire to perfect their diving skill!
But Tarsus is more than just fun, fun, and more fun.
The statue celebrates Karacaoğlan, a 17th-century Ottoman Turkish folk poet and ashik.
Halk edebiyatımızın büyük şairi Karacaoğlan 17. Yüzyılda yaşamış ve uzun bir ömür sürmüştür. Çukurova’da yaşadığı kesindir. Türkmen aşiretleri arasında büyük bir sevgisi olan Karacaoğlan’ı Çukurova’lılaar paylaşamazlar. Yöremiz halkı da Karacaoğlan’ın Tarsus’lu olduğuna, burada yaşadığına ve Eshab-ı Kehf mağarasına girerek kaybolduğuna inanmaktadır. Köylerimizde hâlâ Karacaoğlan türküleri söylenmektedir, 30 Ağustos 2003.
These unsavory-looking gentlemen appear to be local thugs, until you realize they are just spending the day playing with kittens. Awwwwwww.
The Unhappy Bride
You may recall from our article, Brides on Karlüv Most, that not all brides appear happy. This seems to be true in Tarsus, too.
Across the river, we see a bright red dress, and discover it’s covering 95% of a woman. She appears to be a bride, and the man in blue seems to be a groom.
An elderly woman beckons them; a man in denim jeans follows. Perhaps it is the big moment? Perhaps this is what this young couple has waited for their entire lives?
The groom continues his phone conversation. The bride throws out one final look of lost hope, and they disappear around the corner.